900-year-old ‘Parrot Lady’ statue just a ‘nice knock-off’

CBC News Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Emily Chung

A 900-year-old statue presented by then-prime minister Stephen Harper to his Indian counterpart as a gift is just a knock-off and not a stolen artifact, insists the woman who first bought the statue.

The article mentions an assessment made in 2010 by UBC art history professor Katherine Hacker.

Hacker said at the time that it’s possible that the artwork is not a copy.

“Even though the face is surprisingly intact, the more I looked at the sculpture the less convinced I was of it as a recent copy,” Hacker wrote.

Measuring CO2 and other greenhouse gases

CBC News Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Emily Chung

A CBC News series on climate change issues tackles the difficulties of measuring carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Researchers say there are ways to prevent deception in reporting. UBC scientist Andreas Christen measures greenhouse gases from campus, in the City of Vancouver and at a local wetland, and uses the results to compare calculated versus measured emissions.

“Some of the studies we have done in the past show we come relatively close, within 10 per cent,” he said.

Yahoo News also ran this story.

Five ways to give better gifts

Wall Street Journal Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Dana Wechsler Linden

A Wall Street Journal article suggests a few ways to give better gifts, all based on research. The results of a UBC study suggest that when choosing presents for the men they’re dating, women should look for a gift that builds on an area of similarity. As for women, their outlook on the future of a romantic relationship aren’t affected by receiving a “bad” versus “good” gift.

7 things to know about UN climate change talks in Paris

Yahoo News Fri Nov 27 2015 By: Dene Moore

Commenting on Canada’s climate change policies on the eve of the U.N. climate summit in Paris, UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison says many other countries have been doing more in this area.

“There will be pressure on Canada to do more,” Harrison said. “Other countries will need some convincing that we’re actually serious this time, and that will not be easy given the domestic political challenges that remain.”

(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan

Georgia Straight Tue Nov 24 2015 By: Robin Laurence

The Straight reviewed “(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art,” a contemporary Taiwanese art exhibition at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.

The review went: “It’s a truly captivating installation, immersive and, in many ways, overwhelming—and impossible to see or comprehend in one visit. Given the theme of this exhibition, this is as it should be.”

Early Native Americans raised turkeys, but not to eat

Discovery News Wed Nov 25 2015 By: Jennifer Viegas

New research suggests that Native Americans at a Utah site called Turkey Pen Ruins raised turkeys for their feathers, not for food.

The researchers analysed human hair for the American Southwest to look for amino acid signatures resulting from diet.

Native Americans from the area obtained around 80 percent of their calories and protein from maize, said study co-author and UBC anthropologist R.G. Matson.

Trudeau to gain where provinces lose on taxing 1%: adviser

Bloomberg Wed Nov 25 2015 By: Greg Quinn

An analysis by Kevin Milligan, a UBC professor and occasional Liberal adviser, and the University of Toronto’s Michael Smart shows that taxing the “one percenters” may not bring in as much revenue as expected since wealthy families could move provinces.

But since it’s harder to move countries, by coordinating their tax efforts, the federal and provincial governments could achieve the results they want, the analysts said.

B.C. readies for arrival of Syrian refugees

Global BC Mon Nov 23 2015 By: Jon Azpiri

Thousands of Syrian refugees are expected to settle in B.C.

UBC geography professor Dan Hiebert says traditionally refugees have been sent to the big cities, because they have extensive support networks, but there have also been a few attempts to send refugees to more mid-level or smaller cities.

“They have two models to choose from and we’ll see what they do,” Hiebert said.

Who is part of Canada’s cultural mosaic?

Georgia Straight Mon Nov 23 2015 By: Mabel Ho

Mabel Ho, a sociology PhD student at UBC, discusses her research on the experiences of individuals with different ethnic backgrounds in Canada. Most of her subjects felt that they were part of Canada’s cultural mosaic but others felt that they were being stereotyped and had to prove they were Canadian.

“Trudeau reminds us that this nation was built on values that include acceptance. However, it is more important to express these values in our actions,” Ho wrote in a Straight op-ed.

Canadian democracy needs an overhaul Tue Nov 24 2015 By: Voices-Voix

Veronica Strong-Boag, a professor emerita with UBC’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice is one of the signatories in an iPolitics article calling for substantive reforms in Parliament.

The article called for a number of changes including an end to interference with ombudspersons and officers of Parliament, targeted surveillance of advocates, heightened scrutiny of progressive charities and punitive laws on public safety, environmental protection, and other areas.

The future of free trade in Asia-Pacific: China’s Eurasian dilemma

Forbes Tue Nov 24 2015 By: Trevor Kennedy, David Yin

In a joint op-ed with Forbes writer David Yin, UBC masters student Trevor Kennedy examines free trade agreements involving China and the Asia Pacific region in general.

China last week signaled a fairly important change in foreign policy by formally starting to pursue the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), a free trade agreement among members of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group.

This shift happens amidst other initiatives that could affect China such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an ASEAN+6 initiative that would exclude Russia and the Americas, and a pan-Eurasian free trade zone proposed by Russia.

Kennedy and Yin believe that while both the Russian proposal and RCEP are important, China is better served by focusing on the FTAAP.

Syrian refugees: Why the freakout?

Discovery News Mon Nov 23 2015 By: Emily Sohn

Fear of foreigners often spikes when people feel threatened in the context of war, terrorism and other factors, suggests UBC psychologist Mark Schaller.

“When people feel more vulnerable to physical harm, they are likely to be more prejudiced against people who seem to be ‘one of them’ rather than ‘one of us,'” said Schaller, commenting on fear and worries over Syrian refugee settlement in the United States.

Canada’s Syrian refugee plan: What we know and don’t know

CBC News Tue Nov 24 2015

The federal government is expected today to announce details of its plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the year’s end.

As to where the refugees will live once they’re here, it’s likely they’ll end up in major cities across the country, according to UBC geography Dan Hiebert. But he also said: “We don’t yet know what [the government’s] geographical strategy is going to look like.”

Multiple phase screening process for Syrian refugees

News 1130 Sun Nov 22 2015 By: Kenny Mason

Syrian refugees go through a multiple-phase screening process before they’re resettled in Canada, UBC geography professor Dan Hiebert explained in a News 1130 article.

Overseas, screening is done by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, after which a recommendation is made to Canada for resettlement of that person in Canada. Once the refugees are in Canada, they will be vetted by CSIS and the RCMP.

N.W.T.’s Dechinta learning centre partners with UBC

CBC News Sat Nov 21 2015

UBC professor Glen Coulthard spending half his teaching time at Dechinta, a N.W.T. learning centre located near Yellowknife as part of a new Dechinta-UBC partnership. Dechinta offers a mix of academic lectures and traditional aboriginal practices. The plan is for Dechinta to establish an accreditation for students from the North who want to get credits transferred to UBC. A similar article appeared on Yahoo.